December 19, 2021 3:45:38 am
The government has received an undisclosed number of financial bids for sale of its stake in Pawan Hans, moving the disinvestment process of the ailing helicopter operator to the last stage.
Tuhin Kant Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), tweeted, “The financial bids for Pawan Hans disinvestment have been received by the transaction advisor. The process now moves to a concluding stage.” He, however, did not disclose the number of bidders.
The Centre is selling its entire 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans. State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), which owns the remaining 49 per cent, too has offered its complete shareholding in the company for sale.
Established in 1985, Pawan Hans has a fleet of over 40 helicopters and over 900 employees, less than half of them on permanent roles. It provides helicopter services for the exploration activities of ONGC and to India’s northeast.
For 2019-20, the company ported a net loss of Rs 28 crore, lower than Rs 69 crore in the previous year. As on March 31, 2020, its authorised capital stood at Rs 560 crore and paid-up share capital at Rs 557 crore.
In 2018, the government had invited bids to sell its stake in Pawan Hans. However, the process was withdrawn after ONGC decided to sell its 49 per cent stake in the company along with the government’s. In 2019, a second attempt was made to sell the company but it failed to receive investor response.
Last year, the government sweetened the terms, reducing the minimum net worth for potential bidders and the lock-in period of investment and allowing the successful bidder to sell assets after a year.
With PTI inputs
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